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"Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective
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Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
"Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/09/2010 14:41:14 MDT Print View

I have been practicing UL backpacking techniques for about five years now and I feel very good about the following list. Does this mean it's perfect? No.

Below is the packing list I've used as my go-to-list this summer and it has worked smashingly. Regardless, I'd love to hear some fresh perspective on it.

This is a solo gear list designed for three-season camping in the Rocky Mountains of SW Montana (but transfers well to other locales). Temperatures will drop to around freezing at night and can be into the 90s during the day. Rain, snow, and wind are to be expected at any time during the trip. The length of trip this list is designed for is a weekend but this gear can easily be pushed into a thru-hike list with a slightly larger backpack.


Edited by sharalds on 08/13/2014 12:11:19 MDT.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE:""Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective" on 09/09/2010 15:05:23 MDT Print View

I also use a button up the front fishing shirt (mine weighs 8.5 oz Columbia PFG) for my torso. I consider not bringing it each trip (instead using a light merino or cap l/s shirt) but really like my old fishing shirt in for its ventilation options, sun protection, durability, quick drying...

Have you considered using a torso baselayer that is lighter than 10 ounces (e.g. cap 2 l/s is 5-6 ounces)?

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
"Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/09/2010 15:26:04 MDT Print View

That shirt is the one thing I didn't actually weigh myself and grabbed some info off a website so it could be wrong. I have used a sub-six ounce wool baselayer with great success. This summer I was appreciating the convenience that comes with a fly fishing shirt (pockets for temporarily storing items and the ability to open the front for ventilation). Thanks for the comments.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Fishing Shirt on 09/09/2010 15:26:41 MDT Print View

Sam and I instructed the WS1 course together this Summer. I wore my UL merino hoody and Sam wore his white fishing shirt. I got eaten up by mosquitoes biting me through the fabric while Sam was unscathed. Needless to say, I went and purchased a similar shirt before I went out for the WT1 trip and didn't get bitten a single time. My opinion is that the heavier fishing style shirt is completely worth it during Summer trips in the Rockies.

I don't see anything I'd readily change. While there is plenty of stuff you could swap out, I'm not sure you'd get much out of the exchange.

Edited by simplespirit on 09/09/2010 15:31:03 MDT.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE: ""Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective" on 09/09/2010 15:55:19 MDT Print View

Glad to hear you both feel the same about this type of shirt. I too have less bites with my PFG shirt. I take it a step further and treat it with permethrin. The rest of the list looks dialed in to me.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: "Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/09/2010 16:09:53 MDT Print View

Nix the bear spray and just throw your trekking poles at the charging bear, like Andrew Skurka did in Alaska:

Number of bears that I scared the crap out of, literally: 1. Quick story: It charged from across a braided river, I saw it last-minute and threw my trekking poles at it because I didn’t have time to reach for my bear spray, it was so rattled by the throwing and the yelling that it took a 90-degree turn and ran away. It pooped itself as it went."

Source: National Geographic Adventure Blog

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
7.2 pounds of base weight on 09/09/2010 18:28:49 MDT Print View

7.2 pounds of base weight?

Anything you might do at this point is gunna be tiny tweaking and it would be hard to get that number to PLUMIT. To get the weight lower, you would need to leave stuff behind (like the 5 oz camera). Or, you would need to rein stuff with a scissor (the pack) or widdle things like the first aid kit down.

Q: Why is your water bottle 3.5 oz???

Also - You don't have Toilet Paper on the list, and it warms my heart.

Well done (as always)


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: "Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/09/2010 19:34:48 MDT Print View

Use a smaller volume cookpot (I'm a snowpeak 600 user) is all I can contribute. I'd also, like Mike says, not take bear spray in Colorado, but I do not hike solo. I may if I did.

Gordon Towne
(gordontowne) - MLife

Locale: New England
Toothbrush on 09/09/2010 19:49:55 MDT Print View

Not a huge weight reduction here (though as has been said, you're already pretty low) but I've started using one of these colgate wisps in place of the toothbrush/powder toothpaste I see on your list. I even used one on a week long trip earlier in the year, and it wasn't doing a whole lot towards the end, but is adequate for a weekend. I just find it more convenient and less messy. One weighs .08 oz on my scale.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
900 pot on 09/09/2010 21:03:43 MDT Print View

Sam- great looking list- one thing that jumps out at me is the 900ml pot- that's the pot I use when hiking w/ my wife, solo I use a 600 and more recently a 450

also if your looking at shedding a wee bit of weight there are some lighter cuben options to look at vs the trash compactor bag (clearly at a cost $)

might save a little weight on the bear bag possibly too

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Unencompass, repole on 09/09/2010 22:14:13 MDT Print View

If your compass is really 1.9oz (is the lanyard on there? Suunto says that model is supposed to be 1.2oz), and you don't really use it much, you could save an ounce by switching to the less awesome Suunto A-2 without the lanyard.

You could also shave a couple ounces by switching to Lightrek 3 poles, eg.

Yeah, I'm grasping at straws here.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/09/2010 23:18:45 MDT Print View

"Also - You don't have Toilet Paper on the list, and it warms my heart."

That is odd. I use it to clean my bum.
ok, OK , I do wash but that would spoil my juvenile attempt at humour

Ole Saether
(osaether) - MLife

Locale: Norway
Re: "Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/09/2010 23:44:31 MDT Print View

Very good list!

About the headlamp, is that a Freedom Micro with necklace?

You have the conversion from pounds to kilograms wrong: 5.08 pounds is 2.30 kilograms and 7.26 pounds is 3.29 kilograms.

Edited by osaether on 09/10/2010 00:11:52 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
"Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/10/2010 07:57:23 MDT Print View

> Clelland - The pack has everything shaved off it that I can. And I carry two water bottles, totaling 3.5 oz.

> John - The suggestion of a smaller cookpot is a good one. I do carry a 550 from time to time. I like the volume of the 900 as I can cook a LOT of food in it, and I like to eat a LOT of food.

Gordon - The Colgate Wisp is the toothbrush I'm using (Mike C! suggested them to me last year).

Mike Moore - I'm open to all suggestions here. And yes, more cuben is a definite possibility as I find funds for that sort of thing.

Eric - 'Tis okay to grasp. Like I said earlier I feel this list is pretty well dialed so the minutiae is what needs inspecting.

Franco - Toilet paper as insulation aka multiuse. Hmm... perhaps I should start carrying it again ; )

Ole - The Micro lamp is hung off a lanyard I wear around my neck at all times (along with whistle and firestriker. Thanks for the heads-up on the metric - I'll fix that up.

Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Re: 900 pot on 09/10/2010 08:12:23 MDT Print View

Though using the cooking pot for your drinking mug (this assumes you are a coffee/tea drinker) is the lightest/minimalist setup I find personally that having a separate cup makes life simpler, even though there is a slight weight penalty.

The absolute lightest would probably be something like a styrofoam cup (you could even wrap your duct tape around it for more durability).

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective" on 09/10/2010 08:36:23 MDT Print View

Do this to your nightlight and save .12oz. :]

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
"Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/10/2010 08:38:16 MDT Print View

Now THAT is an example of the kind of OCD behavior necessary to shave grams. Sweet!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Pots and mug on 09/10/2010 08:50:18 MDT Print View

I go with a Sierra cup for the mug/bowl option. I cook in a 550ml pot and use an REI Ti Sierra cup at 1.6oz/45g and holds 10.5oz/310ml.

I won't bother to extol all the virtues of the Sierra cup, but one function is to scoop water for pre-filtering before nuking it with a Steripen. I found myself adding various recycled containers for scoops that took up room and I found the REI cup on sale for $15. Goes on day hikes too.

Another way to squeeze more utility from your Ti pot is to add the Snow Peak "Hot Lips" silicone mouth guard. The weight is negligible and they are $6.95 pair. FYI, it doesn't work with the Sierra cup :(

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/10/2010 09:12:10 MDT Print View

You could sacrifice the following:

knife -.5 (take a razor blade - .1oz.) = .4oz saved
wind jacket (drop and take only rain jacket) -4.1
camera -5.36
take just 1meter of duct tape. 2m is a lot. -.15oz.
two lights? just take the Micro. -.5

sunscreen -.5
lip balm - .34
replace these 2 with: dermatone stick [+.15oz worn, ( if you are wearing long clothing and a tilley, then you don't need much more sunscreen but for your ears, neck, and back of hands, right?] = 0.24 oz. saved

Total saved: 10.75oz.

Edited by edude on 09/10/2010 09:17:14 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
"Expert" List Needs Fresh Perspective on 09/10/2010 09:18:21 MDT Print View


Some of these are good suggestions but others I can't do.

knife -.5 (take a razor blade - .1oz.) = .4oz saved
duct tape. 2m is a lot. -.15oz.
lights? just take the Micro. -.5
sunscreen -.5 / lip balm - .34 : replace with dermatone = .2oz. saved

I carry the Swiss army knife because of the scissors/blade combo but I could definitely get by with just a razor. I'll look into Dermatone as that would not only mean saving weight but it would also mean taking less items.

Can't do:
wind jacket (drop and take only rain jacket) -4.1
camera -5.36

The wind jacket is a part of my overall clothing system and is a calculated piece of clothing necessary for warmth. The day I leave my camera at home to save weight is the day I quit backpacking ; )